Duration of respiratory distress
The duration of the shortness of breath can also vary greatly depending on the cause. If the airways are obstructed, removing the cause can relieve the shortness of breath. In the case of allergic reactions, an improvement can only be expected after the administration of medication.
After febrile convulsions or coughing attacks, the shortness of breath can subside on its own after a few seconds to minutes. Premature and newborn babies sometimes need a little incentive to breathe on their own. For this purpose, parents can easily blow in the child’s face.
Shortness of breath at night
Since babies with shortness of breath do not cry, parents notice this emergency, if at all, by chance. To prevent suffocation, a firm mattress, a sleeping bag and a room that is not too warm are useful. Blankets and cuddly toys do not belong in the cot. For children who have frequent breathing difficulties, nightly monitoring of the amount of oxygen in the blood can be useful, so that parents are woken when saturation drops. The greatest risk of nocturnal breathing difficulties is the lack of monitoring by the parents!
Respiratory distress after breastfeeding
Since babies also choke, a small amount of breast milk can enter the windpipe during breastfeeding. As babies cannot yet cough up foreign matter in the airways safely, they experience shortness of breath. In most cases, this shortness of breath is short-lived. If shortness of breath occurs more frequently during breastfeeding, the child should be examined further, as malformations may be the cause. Breathlessness is not caused by breastfeeding and can also occur with bottle feeding!
Postpartum respiratory distress
Immediately after birth, the previously useless lungs of the infant unfold. Due to amniotic fluid still present in the mouth cavity, breathing difficulties can occur for a short time. Immediately after birth, however, various diseases and malformations appear, which can lead to shortness of breath.
Heart defects as well as malformations of the respiratory tract and the diaphragm can make emergency operations necessary directly after birth. Premature babies often have difficulty breathing after birth because their lungs are not yet fully developed. These children have to be ventilated and need so-called surfactant to keep the lungs open, as it cannot yet be produced independently.